Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

Change Your Eating and Workout Habits for Life. Skip to content

Medicare open enrollment begins Tuesday! Visit the AARP Medicare Resource Center for the information you need to make your best choices.


Excerpt Four: Eating to Live, Not Living to Eat

From the book "From Fat to Fit: Turn Yourself into a Weapon of Mass Reduction" by Carole Carson

Are you eating it? Or is it eating you?

—Larry Cohen

To keep following Gayle's eating guidelines, I had to make changes, not just in my eating habits, but also in how I thought about food. Instead of viewing food as a major source of gratification, I had to learn to see food as a source of fuel and health. Instead of living to eat, I would eat to live.

What Didn't Work: "Going on a Diet"

I knew from past failures what didn't work: "going on a diet." I'd gone on plenty of them and remembered feeling hungry all the time, especially at night. I couldn't skip meals, either; I'd only get a headache. Limiting my food choices, like eating only cabbage for a week, also wouldn't work. Neither would cooking separate dinners for my husband and me or not being able to dine out.

Above all else, "going on a diet" implied the change was temporary. A "diet" meant "rules," which I knew I'd eventually break. This time I was looking for permanent change. Diet meant deprivation; instead, I wanted to enjoy eating.

My Assets

At least I had a few assets: I liked almost all foods. Moreover, I was willing to learn, and I was prepared to give up anything that separated me from fitness.

Plus, this time I was impatient. Whereas before I might have tested the waters one toe at a time, now I was becoming a "just undo it!" person—diving in and getting the shock over with quickly. Impatient for results, I was plunging into significant eating changes.

Feeling the Benefits

Although following Gayle's eating program was tough initially, I soon started to feel as well as see its benefits. I woke up in the morning with more energy. Looking in the mirror gave me an instant charge. The hope I was feeling gave me a renewed sense of youthfulness. I noticed my mind was sharper and I needed less sleep—not to mention the clearer conscience I felt because I was doing the healthy thing. Silencing the constantly critical voice was wonderful; the irritable background static was replaced by a sense of anticipation.

As far as I could tell, the only thing this new eating program required me to give up was a childish, undisciplined freedom to eat anything I wanted, in whatever quantity I wanted, whenever I wanted—a fleeting pleasure at best.

Next: Carole gives birth to "the new me."

Join the Discussion

0 | Add Yours

Please leave your comment below.

You must be logged in to leave a comment.